Postdoctoral Position

A post-doctoral position is available immediately at the Biostabilization and Bioencapsulation Laboratories (http://biogels.umn.edu) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Minnesota. The position is focused on developing a novel method for room temperature stabilization and storage of human biospecimens, with specific emphasis on storage stabilization of proteinaceous cancer biomarkers. Room temperature stabilization by isothermal vitrification requires less stringent processing and storage requirements for biospecimen processing, transport, and storage resulting in significant cost savings. Isothermal vitrification also helps avoid the physical, thermal, and chemical stresses imposed on macromolecules during processing and cryogenic storage, ensuring that the molecular information content of the biospecimens are preserved. Our group has developed an adsorbing/dissolving lyoprotectant matrix, and a complementary isothermal vitrification procedure to stabilize human serum (see a recent publication from our group on this research at http://www.nature.com/articles/srep24186). During the development stage of this research, we have established post-storage information recovery of >90% for the five model serum biomarkers studies. We are currently in the validation stage of the project where further characterization and long-term stabilization studies are being conducted in collaboration with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN with the goal of validating the method for +300 serum biomarkers; a crucial bottleneck for success. We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or Molecular Biology (or in a related field) with demonstrated competence, relevant expertise and having published high impact, innovative research publications. Experience in biospecimen science, and/or protein stabilization is desirable but not necessary. The post-doctoral associate is expected to perform long term storage stability studies, and accelerated aging studies using the developed matrix and the methodology, identify possible causes of destabilization/degradation/damage in individual biomarkers and protein families, and develop strategies for improvement. Technical expertise in standard basic molecular analysis techniques such as gel electrophoresis, Western blot, enzyme activity assays, and other protein assays are absolutely required. Knowledge of protein software such as The Basic Alignment Tool (BLAST) and ExPasy are desirable but not required. Experience with physical/chemical characterization techniques such as FTIR, CD, DSC, XRD, etc. is very important. Candidates must be enthusiastic and dedicated to science with excellent organizational skills and effective at working independently, while also collaborating and assisting the team reaching its collective research goal. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required. Application documents must be submitted online through the UMN employment system at: http://humanresources.umn.edu/jobs. Click on External Faculty and Staff Applicants, enter "313374" in the Job Opening ID, and change the Jobs Posted Within drop down menu to "anytime." At this point a username and password will need to be created to access the system.